I Don’t Play Hurt

I began to feel irritated when the limo driver was late. After a long flight on the eve of an intense book promotion tour, I was tired and anxious to get to my hotel. Finally the limo arrived and the driver emerged. He was a tall, husky African-American man who resembled a cross between George Forman and Goldfinger’s Oddjob. I decided not to get in his face.

Enroute the driver, Terry, apologized for being late because he had a minor fender bender on his way. When he asked me what I was doing in L.A., I told him I was promoting my new book, Why Your Life Sucks and What You Can Do About It. Terry chuckled, “I can use that book.”

A few minutes later I heard Terry reporting the mishap to his dispatcher over the 2-way radio. “Was there any damage to the car?” asked the dispatcher.

“None,” Terry answered curtly.

“Did you get hurt?” was the next question.

“Not really.”

After a silence, the dispatcher replied, “You know, there could be some cash in this for you.”

When I realized the dispatcher was suggesting that Terry file a false insurance claim, I awaited his response. A moment later he answered in a low, sober voice, “I don’t play hurt.”

Now there’s an affirmation to file in a conspicuous place: I don’t play hurt. That’s exactly the principle I’ve been striving to live and teach for my whole career. Stunned, I placed a hand on Terry’s shoulder and told him, “You don’t need my book, man you’re already living it.”

None of us can afford to play hurt. When you do, you undermine your true strength and live a lie. Don’t play small. Don’t act like a victim. Don’t seek rewards for pain. Be magnificent. Be powerful. If you are going to play any role, play strong and whole, for that’s who you truly are.

Are you playing hurt in any area of your life?

What would you be doing differently if you played whole and strong?

I am strong, whole, and empowered. I don’t play hurt.


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